Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks and Things

I am not a recreational shopper. It is not what I do for fun; it is what I suffer through to get needed items, like food and, when absolutely necessary, clothing. I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day. It’s hard to imagine myself shopping on Black Friday either, although an unanticipated circumstance may arise. But I will not seek that torture. Do people really go out into the crowds on purpose? What commodities could be worth it?
In short, I guess I’m thankful that my needs are not so great that I must fend off hordes to supply the family with what we need. If you have needs that take you out into the melee, you have my sympathies; it must be hard to feel thankful under such deprivation.
If you shop under those circumstances for recreation, I do not understand you; we are of a different substance. But the stores are out there, so you go for it, and may you enjoy yourself.
I am thankful that much shopping (and shipping) can be done by internet. What a relief! Shipping is less expensive and a lot easier that way. I’m all for that. Isn’t innovation and free enterprise a wonderful thing!
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I came across a piece worth reading, about the Pilgrims. It was a piece on The Imaginative Conservative, called “Mayflower Compact or Plymouth Combination?” It was about the renaming of the agreement, some 173 years afterward. Neither “compact” nor “combination” are often used or understood the same way today. But I think the point is that it was a simple document declaring the Pilgrims’ right to self-government. The word covenant is used in it, a two-way promise, between each other, combining in their efforts to honor God. It’s a beautiful document, and precedence setting. In itself it is a declaration of the basic right to self-rule, which continued as a practice on this continent.
image from here
These good people didn’t start off getting everything right. As the story goes, they nearly starved the first year, but then things got better. What changed was their approach to property ownership. John Stossel recounts the situation in a piece this week called “Thankful for Property.” Good intentions from good people aren’t enough to ensure good behavior. Self-interest in managing personal property—in other words, enjoying your life, liberty, and the use of them—results in more moral behavior than common ownership.
So, if were making a list for Thanksgiving, we can be thankful God granted us life, liberty, and the right to pursue our own happiness. That includes the physical things we need as well as the more immeasurable things, like love, and family (same thing, really).
I came across a few quotes for the day worth sharing. I hope these help you celebrate a heartfelt and memorable Thanksgiving Day:
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.—A. A. Milne

Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.—Alfred Painter

I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.—G. K. Chesterton

A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontent.—David A. Bednar

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